The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ukraine is one of the fastest growing in the world. In 2008, ICID hosted the Canadian Forum on HIV and Ukraine to generate awareness of the need for ongoing support to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ukraine, and to present preliminary results of a UNAIDS coordinated external review of Ukraine's response to this crisis. Attending the forum were non-governmental organization (NGO) leaders from across Canada, including UNICEF, the Canadian Society for International Health, the Mennonite Central Committee, and ICID. Dr. Alla Scherbynska, Director of AIDS Centres in Ukraine, presented on the epidemiological status of HIV/AIDS in Ukraine. Discussion focused on Canada's role in supporting Ukraine, how Canadian organizations can work together toward this end, and how to fund these initiatives.
ICID continues its international work in HIV prevention through its ICID-UNICEF Ukraine HIV Prevention Initiative. Drawing upon expertise within Manitoba and working in partnership with UNICEF Ukraine, government agencies, and local NGOs, ICID will be implementing a proven HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care model in two regions in Ukraine. The model targets the most at-risk children who are least likely to access services. The model seeks to integrate and build program capacity to ensure access to a full range of services for the most at-risk children and youth. In order to support this project, UNICEF Canada is launching a national fundraising campaign, in which ICID will play a leadership role.
Assessment Phase began in the first week of October 2012: In order to design effective HIV programs and services, ICID and UNICEF completed an initial assessment phase to fill crucial knowledge gaps. ICID took the lead in designing and conducting a social mapping study of the most at-risk female youth, including where they can be found, and a review of what influences their attitudes, behaviours and interactions with the wider community. This built knowledge about the context and drivers of HIV-related risk and vulnerability for these girls. ICID and partners also conducted a mapping of existing programs and services available, and what may be preventing youth from using them. Finally, there was an assessment of the existing capacity within program and service delivery organizations and institutions, and a capacity building plan was developed.
You will find media coverage of the Canadian Forum on HIV and Ukraine as well as related articles and links of interest on this issue on this page.